Friday, February 24, 2017

Humor in Uniform – LLQ – Lady Like Qualities

It is heartening to see so many “faujans (Military Wives) in the Blogosphere. 

I am sure there are many talented Bloggers among Defence Wives who write on a variety of subjects. 

I particularly like 3 Blogs which feature interesting posts about the unique life of Army Wives:

1. A Curious Army Wife 

2. Aditis Monologue 

3. Half a Cup of Happyness 

I hope to discover more such blogs about fauji life – as I am sure there are many faujis faujans and veterans blogging away in the blogosphere.

Browsing through these blogs and reading delightful posts about life of Army Wives  evokes memories of some unforgettable Navy Wives I came across in my long Navy Career.

So  here is one memoir about The Navy Wife with Lady Like Qualities (LLQ) 

THE NAVY WIFE WITH LADY LIKE QUALITIES (LLQ)
Hilarious Memories of My Wonderful Navy Life
A Fictional Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Officers of the Defence Services (Army Navy and Air Force) are required to be Gentlemen.

Accordingly  Wives of Defence Service Officers are expected to be Ladies – hence the term Lady Wife” for Wives of Military Officers.

All Military Officers are required to possess OLQ (OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES)

But do all Wives of all Military Officers display LLQ (LADY LIKE QUALITIES)...?

Let me delve deep into my Humor in Uniform archives and pull out this story for you to enjoy and ponder over:


LLQ – LADY LIKE QUALITIES (A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE)


Part 1 – THE OFFICER

“Can you carry a small packet and deliver it to my wife?” the officer asked me.

“Sure Sir,” I said.

“Thanks. Just some Ayurvedic Medicines, that’s all. I’ll come on board your ship tomorrow and give it to you,” he said.

“Sure Sir, no hurry, we are leaving day after tomorrow morning,” I said.

The officer was a friend of my ex-shipmate who had been posted to Cochin a few months ago and with whom I was having a drink in the Navy Club at Cochin (now Kochi).

The officer had joined us for a drink  my ex-shipmate had introduced me  and when the officer came to know that my ship was going to Bombay (now Mumbai) he requested to me to carry a packet and deliver it to his wife in Bombay.

Since my ex-shipmate was calling him “Sir” – I too addressed him as “Sir” – and when he came on board the next day  I noticed that though he wore two stripes of a Lieutenant like me, he had the green 9 year long service ribbon.

(Those days it took 3 years to become a Lieutenant  and then one remained a Lieutenant for 8 long years  so there were “junior” Lieutenants like me  and “senior” Lieutenants like him).

Next afternoon just before lunchtime, the officer came to my cabin onboard my ship and gave me the packet.

He also gave me a slip of paper on which was written his home address in NOFRA.

“I am stuck here in Cochin for the next 3 months doing a bloody course,” he complained, sipping his beer.

“Cochin is a lovely place,” I said.

“I know – but my wife is in Bombay – and, as they say, there is no life without wife,” he remarked.

“Sir, we are stopping over for two days at Goa and we plan to reach Bombay by Friday, so I will deliver your packet on Saturday or Sunday,” I said.

“No problem – I have already posted a letter to my wife in the morning about the packet,” he said.

(39 years ago  when this story happened  writing letters was the common mode of communication  because junior officers did not have landline phones at home  so  going to the post office to make a “trunk call” was inconvenient  telegrams were for emergencies  and – of course  mobile phones had not yet been invented)


Part 2 – THE OFFICER’S WIFE

On Saturday evening I rang the bell of a flat on the 6th floor of a high-rise building that housed Married Accommodation for Lieutenants.

A beautiful young lady opened the door.

I introduced myself.

“Yes, yes, do come in,” she said in a mellifluous voice, “I got my husband’s letter two days ago – I have been expecting you today.”

“Sorry Ma’am, I could not come in the morning…” I said  and I handed her the packet her husband had sent from Cochin.

“Oh, come on – it was so nice of you to get the packet – do sit down – I will get you something to drink – what will you have?” she said.

“Just a glass of water…” I said  and I sat down on the sofa.

I looked at the lady as she opened the fridge  took out a bottle of water  poured some in a glass  and brought the glass in a tray towards me.

I was impressed by the way she carried herself – she had so much élan, grace and poise.

She excused herself, went into the kitchen and then she came out and asked me: “Come on – have a drink – the bar is over there – and then we will have dinner – you like chicken, don’t you – or are you a vegetarian?”

“Ma’am – please don’t take the trouble…”

“What trouble? There’s no trouble at all – my maid will do the cooking while we talk – in fact it is you who have taken the trouble to deliver the packet and the least I can do is to offer you a meal,” she said.

I felt uncomfortable having a hard drink alone in her company  so I asked for a soft drink  and she had one too.

I think she realized that I was feeling a bit awkward  so she tried to put me at ease.

We talked  we had dinner – and the evening passed in a haze of delight.

As I rode my scooter back to ship I thought about her – she was a Perfect Navy Wife – her social graces, her etiquette, her polish, her refinement, her poise... 

Well – it is difficult for me to describe everything about her in words  so I will just say that she had all the Lady Like Qualities.


Part 3 – THE OFFICER and HIS WIFE

A few months later  I ran into her in the US Club Library. 

Yes  it was the same Perfect Navy Wife” with Lady Like Qualities”.

“Good evening, Ma’am,” I wished her.

“Oh, hello – how are you?” she said politely.

Suddenly  her husband came in.

He looked at me – he recognized me  and he smiled and said to me, “Hi – How are you?

“Hello, Sir – welcome back to Mumbai,” I said.

“Come – why don’t you join us for a drink – let’s go to the bar,” he said.

“Sure Sir,” I said.

I walked down to the bar with the Naval Officer and his wife.

We sat down in the club bar.

Those days  it was the custom that the senior officer signs for the drinks – so the officer signed the bar chit to order drinks.

I noticed that his lady wife was giving me a rather curious look.

I smiled at her.

“Why are you calling my husband “Sir”  you are senior to him  aren’t you?” she asked me.

“No Ma’am – your husband is senior to me,” I said.

“Really? Are you sure? I thought that you are senior to my husband, she said.

“Of course I am sure – your husband is senior to me,” I said.

That is surprising. You look so old and mature  that is why  when you came home the other day  I thought that you were senior to my husband,” she said.

I did not know what to say.

I certainly did not look that “old”  as if I were an elderly senior citizen.

But with my copious beard  bulky body size  and rather podgy physique  I certainly looked older than my age.

So  I said, “ Yes, Ma’am – you are right – I do look a bit older than my age  and many persons do think that I am more senior than I actually am – in fact  once a senior Lieutenant mistook me for a Lieutenant Commander – and he was surprised when he saw me in uniform next morning.”

“Oh – all that doesn’t matter,” remarked her husband, the senior Lieutenant.

It may not have mattered to him – but it did matter to his wife.

As far as his wife was concerned  it was obvious that my inter-se seniority with her husband did matter to her.

The moment she realized that I was junior to her husband  her demeanor towards me changed drastically.

Earlier  she had treated me with courteous obsequiousness – on the day I had visited her home when she thought that I was senior to her husband.

But now  the moment she realized that I was junior to her husband – her behaviour changed totally – and she was cold and frosty towards me.

The disdain with which she ignored my presence – her scornful vibes – all this made me feel uncomfortable  and I excused myself from their company after a drink  saying that I had to go somewhere.

On my way back to the ship  I had a big laugh.

It was evident that her “Lady Like Qualities” – her LLQ – was quite selective.

Yes – she certainly had selective LLQ.

In fact – to put it bluntly – this Naval Officers Wife was lacking in Lady Like Qualities(LLQ)

Her Naval Officer husband may have been a “Gentleman” – but she certainly did not display the attributes of a Lady”.


Epilogue – LADY LIKE QUALITIES (LLQ)

THE NAVY OFFICERS WIFE 

(Hope this is applicable to Army/Air Force Officer’s Wives as well)

Here is quote from a NWWA (Navy Wives Welfare Association) booklet which encapsulates some prudent advice for a Naval Officers Wife:

“You dont wear his (your husband’s) stripes... 

There is no such thing as a Senior Wife... 

There are Senior Officers – and most of them have wives. 

There are Junior Officers  and some of them have wives. 

All wives are Ladies... 

You will not fawn over others and not expect others to fawn over you. 

You will be yourself. 

And – your own manners, breeding and natural charm will shine through  leaving you with no need for any borrowed stripes – or other borrowed plumage...”

I have seen many such elegant navy wives who were perfect ladies – Military Wives who had excellent LADY LIKE QUALITIES or LLQ

Do tell us if you have seen military wives with perfect LLQ...?

Also – do tell us some hilarious episodes about faujans” sans LLQ – stories of Military Officers Wives who are not Ladies”...

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This blog post is a fictional spoof, pure fiction, satire, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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